Taking a bath or shower isn’t an issue for most people. However, it can be one of the most dangerous activities for the elderly or people with mobility issues. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the bathroom is where most slips and falls occur. Everyone can benefit from learning more about bath safety.

    Types of Shower Chairs

    Free-Standing Bath Stool

    This bath chair looks similar to your standard four-legged chair. However, the legs come with non-slip rubber feet. This is so the chair rests securely against the shower wall be it in the tub or shower. Most come with the option of being able to add a backrest or an armrest. These accessories provide more control and sturdiness while sitting and standing in the chair. Most can hold up to 300 pounds, but there are also options for those who need extra support.

    Rotating or Swivel Shower Seats

    These allow you to quickly and comfortably pivot while you’re in the shower. They’re especially helpful for people who’ve recently had hip surgery and can’t bend or twist. 

    Transfer Bench

    This is a special type of bath bench that can go over the tub or inside the shower stall. It’s made for people with serious mobility limitations. For example, if you only have strength in one of your legs and can’t stand up without support, this is for you. The most common use of a bath seat is in shower/bathtub combos. You sit first, and then slowly swing your legs over, slide into the tub, and sit while you take a shower. There are certain models that include a sliding feature for those who are unable to physically slide themselves.

    `white chair with arms inside a shower

    Tilt-In Space Rolling Shower Chair

    This one resembles a wheelchair, but it’s a shower bench. It provides stable and safe support for people with limited use of or strength in their legs. This type of shower seat requires a full walk-in shower in order to be rolled inside. Some models have neck support which is helpful for those who are bedridden, and they can even relieve pressure in order to prevent bedsores.

    Things to Consider for Buying the Best Shower Chair

    So, which one should you buy? There are many choices and things to consider when buying a shower chair. If you or someone you know has recently found the need to buy one, we recommend getting an occupational therapy home evaluation. A full assessment of your shower or bathtub is extremely important when determining what standard shower chair is most suitable for you.

    A folding shower chair can come in all shapes and sizes; some are small, some large, some have a swivel board, and others have a backrest. So, are you someone with limited mobility who travels a lot? There’s such a thing as a portable folding shower chair so don’t ever let it be an issue. Most fold down flat and will fit perfectly into the trunk of your car, in an airplane, or even your suitcase. Your injury shouldn’t be an excuse for you to miss your next vacation or family gathering. 

    Keeping yourself or a loved one safe, happy, healthy, and independent is important. Shower chairs with adjustable legs are one of the best ways to eliminate the biggest risks elderly and people with mobility issues face at home every single day. Keep in mind, that these are just one of many ways to do so. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for other safety products in order to create a warm, welcoming, and independent home.

    Adjustable

    Some people might require extra support. In this case, you can select a shower chair that has an adjustable backrest and padded arms. Remember, when you sit in the chair, your feet should always touch the floor and not dangle.

    white shower chair next to a bathtub

    Durable Material

    Shower chairs also come in all types of quality and materials. So, what’s the best one for you? Perhaps you just had a minor accident and will recover in a matter of months. In this case, a simple cheaper plastic shower chair should suffice.

    However, if your situation is long-term or permanent, you should consider getting a stronger chair. Aluminum is a good option, and there are even some made of treated, water-resistant wood. 

    Price

    A shower chair can range from $50 up to $5,000 depending on the material, specifications, accessories, and where you live. Some are covered by insurance but don’t count on it. You might want to consider looking for a used one, borrowing one, or even renting one if you can’t afford to buy one.

    Shower Chairs We Love

    1. Drive Medical 12011KD-1 Tub Transfer Bench For Bathtub with Adjustable Backrest
    2. Drive Medical 12011KD-1 Tub Transfer Bench For Bathtub with Adjustable Backrest
      $68.98
      Buy Now

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      10/06/2022 04:53 pm GMT
    3. Medline Shower Chair Bath Seat with Padded Armrests and Back, Great for Bathtubs, Supports up to 350 lbs
    4. Medline Shower Chair Bath Seat with Padded Armrests and Back, Great for Bathtubs, Supports up to 350 lbs
      $41.93
      Buy Now

      We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

      10/06/2022 01:34 pm GMT
    5. Drive Medical RTL12505 Handicap Bathroom Bench with Back and Arms, White
    6. Drive Medical RTL12505 Handicap Bathroom Bench with Back and Arms, White
      $42.99
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      We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

      10/06/2022 12:08 am GMT

    The Shower as Central Risk Factor for Seniors

    Most people take for granted being able to get in and out of the shower. But, remember that the bathroom is a dangerous place for the elderly and people with mobility issues even with special assistance and equipment. 

    According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in every three seniors experiences at least one fall in their lifetime. Looking at figures from the National Institute on Aging, 80 percent of all falls involving seniors occur in the bathroom, many while attempting to take a shower. So, let’s look at exactly why bathing is so dangerous for seniors.

    Bathroom Hazards for Seniors

    Bathrooms have two main hazards: slippery surfaces and sharp, protruding blunt objects. As a result, getting in and out of the tub without a tub bench or some other form of grab bar can be a dangerous task. Showers contain objects that may appear to be made for support, such as the door, the towel bar, etc. However, they’re not designed to hold an adult body’s weight and can quickly collapse if you use them for support. According to a study from the American Geriatrics Society, some other issues with getting in and out of the bathtub or shower include poor lighting and using bath mats for traction as they can slip. 

    Another factor to consider is that many seniors are too proud to ask for help thinking it’ll sacrifice their independence. At this point, one of two things will happen. One, they’ll continue to risk taking a shower without assistance. Or two, they’ll stop bathing altogether which can lead to serious skin issues.

    Hot water is another serious hazard a senior can face while taking the shower. As you age, your skin becomes thinner, so it’s more susceptible to second-degree hot water burns. Accidents often occur within seconds, leaving an injury that can take a long time to heal or result in further wound care complications. Consider turning down the water temperature to less than 100 degrees.

    shower chair with grey arms on bathroom tile

    Improving Bathroom Safety for Seniors

    There are additional steps you can take in order to create a safe bathroom space for seniors. The first thing you can do is securely install a grab bar that can handle your weight. Make sure they’re visibly different from the towel racks. Avoid having a bath mat or rug as these can slip. Instead, install a wall-to-wall washable carpet on the floor. You can also place non-skid strips inside the bathtub or shower.

    We talked about the dangers of protruding blunt objects in the shower. This can be remedied by placing rubber covers on the faucets or edges of the shower. If you’re going to have a shower chair, place a non-slip base where it’ll be. Lastly, consider getting a detachable shower head or a type of arm rest that can easily be reached from below.

    Other Benefits of Shower Chairs for Seniors

    Better Access

    A warm bath in a shower stall is one of the first recommendations many gerontologists suggest when a senior is experiencing chronic pain, swelling, or arthritis. Warm water is very soothing, and it encourages lymph drainage, swelling reduction, and better circulation. Unfortunately, because many seniors fear falling while in the bathroom, they can be left without the therapeutic benefit of warm water. This is why having better access to a shower is important.

    A bath chair encourages seniors to use the shower and reap all its benefits. They can simply get into the shower stall, sit down, and enjoy the bath without needing any help. There’s no shame in sitting down, and you can even make it a spa experience by adding a massaging showerhead.

    Proper Hygiene

    Some seniors may stop showering or bathing altogether out of fear they may fall. Particularly if they’ve fallen once already. This decline in hygiene is very dangerous and can lead to infections, especially on the skin and in orifices, such as staph infections and urinary tract infections.

    Many times, these seniors will attempt to hide their hygiene issues from their friends and family with a lot of perfume or by withdrawing from them. You might mistake this for depression, but it can simply be a result of them struggling with limited mobility while taking a shower or bath. 

    Installing a shower chair can encourage you to take a more active role in your own personal hygiene. You’ll feel safer and more capable. Being clean and fresh improves your mood, boosts confidence, and just feels nice! 

    white shower chair with an extension

    Independence

    Some elderly people are fiercely independent and will refuse help in the bathroom out of pride or embarrassment. Nobody likes to feel they can’t handle such a simple task as taking a shower on their own. The shower is a private place after all. The shower chair is the perfect tool for them to keep their independence in the bathroom. 

    Shower Chairs We Love

    1. Drive Medical 12011KD-1 Tub Transfer Bench For Bathtub with Adjustable Backrest
    2. Drive Medical 12011KD-1 Tub Transfer Bench For Bathtub with Adjustable Backrest
      $68.98
      Buy Now

      We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

      10/06/2022 04:53 pm GMT
    3. Medline Shower Chair Bath Seat with Padded Armrests and Back, Great for Bathtubs, Supports up to 350 lbs
    4. Medline Shower Chair Bath Seat with Padded Armrests and Back, Great for Bathtubs, Supports up to 350 lbs
      $41.93
      Buy Now

      We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

      10/06/2022 01:34 pm GMT
    5. Drive Medical RTL12505 Handicap Bathroom Bench with Back and Arms, White
    6. Drive Medical RTL12505 Handicap Bathroom Bench with Back and Arms, White
      $42.99
      Buy Now

      We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

      10/06/2022 12:08 am GMT

    The Importance of Proper Hygiene in Seniors

    Not all family members are cut out to be a caregiver and they might not feel comfortable providing personal hygiene to another family member and vice versa. In this situation, you should consider bringing in a professional trained to provide care for the elderly who will assist them in all matters of hygiene.

    Good hygiene is essential for proper health. You should always have a routine and checklist of what you need to do. Dirt, oils, and bacteria accumulate on your skin, so proper washing is necessary in order to prevent infections. Unfortunately, some seniors are unable to clean themselves or may forget to do so in some cases. 

    As you get older, daily activities can become harder for several reasons. Usually, it’s because your mind or body starts to fade and can’t do the same things as before. These changes can start to have negative impacts on your health. It’s especially important for seniors to live a healthy lifestyle because of this. Eating a balanced diet, staying active, and being on top of their personal hygiene should be prioritized. Keep reading to discover the importance of personal hygiene for seniors and some tips on how you can help them.

    Healthy Living 

    The main reason why personal hygiene is so important is that it’s a part of healthy living. Not just the physical issues that can arise from the lack of it, but also the mental issues that come along with it. Being dirty can lead to embarrassment, and withdrawal from people, which can ultimately lead to depression. Routines aren’t ever a bad thing and, as you get older, it becomes more important to have them in order to exercise your mind.

    Avoid Skin Issues

    As you get older, skin issues start to become more common. We’ve already covered infections and the fact that your skin gets thinner. Most seniors aren’t so active, so they’ll sweat less. This means it’s enough for them to take a bath or shower just a few times a week. Moisturizing is also crucial, especially if you live in a dry area.

    white shower chair with grey arms

    Keep Up With Foot Care

    Your feet are one of the most affected parts of your body from lack of hygiene. For example, not attending to an ingrown nail or a callus can lead to more severe problems. Furthermore, doing simple things like moisturizing your feet or soaking them can go a long way.

    Prevent Dental Problems

    Dental problems aren’t just painful, they can also be expensive. Properly taking care of your teeth becomes more important as you get older. If you have dentures, make sure to clean them every time after eating. Neglecting your teeth can lead to heart problems, so this should be a major priority in elderly people.

    Prevent Body Odor

    What’s the first thing you think of when you think of bad hygiene? It’s probably bad body odor. Poor grooming isn’t just about not taking a shower. Bad odor can also come from dirty clothes or sheets. Some seniors might not even realize they smell, but people around them surely will. 

    Maintain a Healthy Appearance

    Good personal hygiene leads to a healthy appearance. Seniors who tend to have poor body odor and wear dirty clothes will probably experience depression. A healthy appearance can induce happiness.

    Detect Health Complications

    Bathing and grooming are also important in order to detect potential health complications. This is the time when you might notice an unusual bump or rash. Proper hygiene can help catch something before it becomes a serious issue. Being aware of your body becomes really important as you get older since there are a lot of changes happening.

    white shower chair with arms

    Tips for Helping Seniors Keep Up With Hygiene

    As seniors get older, it can be more difficult to maintain personal hygiene on their own, which is why they might need some help from you or a professional. If you’re looking to help a loved one keep up with their personal hygiene, then there are a few ways you can make things easier for them.

    Respect Their Privacy

    First and foremost, you need to make sure you are giving them enough privacy. The best way you can find out what their personal boundaries are is by communicating with them and asking what they’re comfortable with. Some seniors might be okay with you helping them bathe while others might not. The best thing you can do is make sure they’re bathing regularly and giving them enough space while helping them when necessary. Above all, remember their abilities can vary.

    Create a Regular Routine

    The next tip has to do with setting up a routine if they’re struggling to do it on their own. It can be easy for seniors to forget about personal hygiene and routines. However, establishing and guiding seniors through a routine can be extremely beneficial for them.

    Make Safety Modifications

    There are many safety modifications an elderly person needs in their home. In order to ensure they’re able to properly groom themselves, the bathroom is the most important room. Make sure there’s no way they can get hurt if they fall. 

    Get Home Assistance

    Hire a caretaker if you’re unable to help your loved one with personal hygiene. This is a much better option than a nursing home since they’ll still be in their home where they feel comfortable. 

    Personal hygiene is something many seniors struggle to keep up with as they get older. The worse cases even require a bed bath so this can greatly impact your quality of life. That’s why you might need some help to make sure you’re taking care of yourself and further prevent potential health complications.

    Finally, protecting yourself or a loved one who can’t stand up in the shower due to age, injury or disability shouldn’t be expensive or complicated. A simple shower chair with adjustable legs, a backrest and an arm rest or two is all you need! This piece of furniture helps prevent falls and is a great tool to maintain their independence for as long as possible.

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